In the world of high-tech manufacturing, there aren’t many brands that have maintained a presence in the United States. Outdoor stalwart Princeton Tec has since 1975.
The manufacturer of headlamps, flashlights, dive lights, dive computers, and more has remained a U.S. manufacturer through its existence. This year, the company celebrates its 40th year.
I chatted with David Cozzone, a vice president at Princeton Tec, to learn more about the brand’s roots and future in the world of high tech lighting.
“We made it happen, 40 years,” he said, “It’s been a long ride. We still have a lot of human beings building products.”
Princeton Tec launched in 1975 with handheld flashlights, expanding to the headlamp market before they were a common fixture in the outdoors world.
“It was just climbers,” Cozzone said. “Even the backpacking world was using flashlights.
He explained that he company is happy to have maintained its U.S. manufacturing presence through the development of dozens of products and reaps rewards in quick quality control.
The company will open a new, larger facility, and it is adding about 150 new employees during the next six to eight months. The expansion is being supported by an $18 million grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
The new, 77,764-square-foot facility in Pennsauken, New Jersey, will be more than double the size of Princeton Tec’s current operations in Bordentown, and it will include a showroom.
The location will enable Princeton Tec to increase product development, enhance quality control, and bolster the local workforce and economy, says the company.
For 2015, the brand is pushing out a new ‘Helix’ lantern line with features such as bluetooth remote control, external charging capability, and rechargeable batteries.
The designs grabbed our attention at the Outdoor Retailer convention in 2014 and are in the cue for testing.
“We didn’t want to do just a ‘me too’ lantern. We sat back and watched the market, and we were working on the helix project for 2.5 years,” Cozzone said.
With products across the outdoors, tactical, dive, bike, and industrial markets, it’s nice to know that Princeton will remain home-grown in the U.S. for years to come.